Pictured at the top is a young Michy Batshuayi — not that he’s super old by any means, but he will be turning 27 in a couple months — in the colors of Olympique Marseille about half a decade ago. The baby blue and orange trim combo is very 2014. He’s about to come on to replace André Ayew in the 72nd minute of a 1-0 loss to AS Monaco.
The man to his right wearing the same expression is assistant coach Franck Passi. More pertinently, the man standing to his right is a certain Marcelo Bielsa, who was in charge of the team in 2014-15 but these days can be found in a far less Mediterranean place, Leeds. He’s brought United back into the Premier League after a club record 16-year absence, but if they are to stay for more than just a cup of tea, they’ll probably need some reinforcements.
According to The Athletic’s Phil Hay (The Phil Hay Show via TIAT), Batshuayi could be one of those reinforcements, adding to the attack that had just one player in double figures for goals, another former Chelsea striker in Patrick Bamford (but just 17 league goals in 45 appearances). Incidentally, Bamford’s also about to turn 27 and he’s yet to prove himself at the Premier League level — just 1 goal in 27 prior appearances across two seasons (and four teams).
Compared to that, Batshuayi’s record of 13 goals in 59 Premier League appearances is quite stellar, especially when you consider that only 14 of those appearances were starts. Of course, there’s never been much doubt about Batshuayi’s finishing skills — he has 15 goals in 22 FA Cup and League Cup games combined, and he showed well in loans at Crystal Palace and even Borussia Dortmund — but he’s never been able to hold down a starting spot at Chelsea, despite having to contend with Diego Costa in only 1 of his 4 seasons at the club. He had more chances under Lampard than under just about any other head coach earlier this season, but eventually still found himself a distant third choice behind Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud. And that was before Timo Werner arrived.
With one year left on his contract, Michy’s time at Stamford Bridge is surely up, even if he is still a fun follow on social media. There’s been almost zero transfer market interest in him, so we will probably have to drop our asking price to something quite low. But we have a ton of deadwood to offload, so we can’t be too choosy.
Just get it done.